Danish old school death metal band Thorium is back with a vengeance. FERAL CREATION is their first album in six years and when I witnessed the release-party performance I knew that I simply had to have an interview with these Danes. The guitarist Allan Tvedebrink was kind enough to agree to an interview, so for all extreme metal lovers out there, here it comes, the first interview ever with Thorium in metal-rules.com
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Bianca Anhalt Jacobsen at Target Distribution for setting up this interview
Thanks to Target Distribution for the promo pictures of the band
Live pictures from the release-party taken by: Anders Sandvall
Can we first begin with you telling me a little about your new album FERAL CREATION, how long did it take to write the album and what are the lyrics about?
As you mention in the introduction, it’s 6 years since Unleashing The Demons cane out. After the release of UTD, we all went separate ways to focus on our respective bands. About three years ago we gathered again to write what should be the best Thorium album yet, but we had some trouble with the line up and our record label, so it took some time to get going. On the new album, only two or three tracks are from the old line up. the rest of the record was written in three months with the new line up. We meet and record the shit while writing and arrange the stuff on computer. That’s the quickest and easiest way to do it. We don’t have the time to meet in the rehearsal room and fuck around three notes for 14 days, so that’s how we do it. But quite honestly, we managed to do it – Feral Creation is by far the best Thorium album yet.
The lyrics used to be about Satan, Lucifer, the Devil, Beelzebub, fire, war, death, you get the point. The stuff all death metal bands sing about, hehe. Nowadays it’s the same, but there are also some more serious topics on drinking like a maniac and what it makes you, about stalkers and stuff like that. This time MHA has actually also something to preach, if you care about that shit…
Your previous album came out six years ago, were you nervous to enter a studio again?
Not really, we were very exited about it. I’ve been to the studio tons of times with other bands in the mean time, so for me, it was just as fun as always, though this time I knew we had some great shit with us and with Thorium it’s not all that serious. So the whole atmosphere was really relaxed and down to earth. AND we had time to drink a lot of beers and tell each other the usual crap stories…
Dan Seagrave has done the cover art-work. What do you think of it and do you think it reflects the music and the feeling on the album well?
What do I think of it? I think it’s fucking brilliant!!! It’s the best DS work I’ve seen in years. Working with him was extremely easy and he kind of hit something we wanted right from the first sketches. We told him what Feral Creation and Thorium is all about and he came up with an idea that fit our expectations of how a great DS album artwork should look right away. What we are trying to is exactly well depicted in that artwork, the whole theme, the atmosphere, the recognition of past times where his syle was a must!
You did record the album in Malmoe, Sweden in Berno Studio, what did you think of that studio and what did you think of Malmoe?
We’ve been at Bernos quite some times. Both with Thorium, but I’ve also been recording there with two other bands. Berno is really easy to work with, really good ears for what you are trying to do and what you want o get out of the music and expression.
We live in Copenhagen, so it’s pretty comfortable just to cross Oresund to get there. And Malmoe is a nice city that we all like really much. If it wasn’t so expensive to cross the bridge or if the public transportation wasn’t so fucked up from time to time, I’d probably live in Malmoe. I love the people and their mentality and it’s a beautiful city with (still) affordable places to live.
Did you have any time to see something of Malmoe when you where there?
Well, as stated we know the city pretty well, so no point in going sightseeing in your own backyard, right? Hehe, But we went to see Kreator and Mustasch at KB, which is a cool venue. Just too bad you can’t smoke in there anymore…
How come you didn’t mix and master the album in Berno Studio but did it with with Jacob Hansen?
Berno is a great guy to work with and he knows what he’s doing, but judging from the previous recordings at his studio, his kind of mix wasn’t exactly what we wanted Thorium to sound like. We wanted the crisp and analog basic sound that we know he does wrapped with a more modern mix, which we know Hansen does perfectly.
What’s the difference between working with Berno and Hansen?
Berno is an old dude who knows his metal even if he’s more of a folk/blues/traditional kind of guy. He’s been touring for ages and has a lot of experience in how stuff should sound. He has good ears and takes the role as "producer" more serious than Hansen. Hansen is also very experienced, but as far as I know only in metal. He knows how most people think it should sound and does his stuff without interfering too much in the material, which is both good and bad. For our mix it was perfect.
You are connected to Might Music in Denmark which is a pretty new label. What do you think of your time together so far?
Well, it’s actually a pretty old and experienced label. They have been in hiatus for a long period and decided to start up again last year. they have released a lot of shit, including Iniquity, Artillery, Dim Mak, Raunchy, Sludge and so on so they definitely knows what it’s all about.
The guys behind Mighty put the company on hold to focus on building up Denmark’s biggest distribution in mainly metal, which they did in just two years. In other words, Michael and Bjarke are really focused and determined people, which you can also see in their work with the bands on the label. Having a distribution company with around eight people doing sales, promotion and booking is also a really good asset for the bands on the label. So far we have been really pleased with what they are doing for us. It’s brilliant.
You held your release party a few weeks ago at The Rock in Copenhagen, how was that? Was it a good party?
Yeah, you were there, so you’d have an idea, ha ha…
It was a good opportunity to celebrate the release with our closest friends and buddies from the scene in Copenhagen and of course people from the medias as yourself. We have always enjoyed playing live at our release parties, it’s a perfect way to mix friends, death metal, drinking and playing live, so yeah, it’s was a great night! We had Spectral Mortuary and Vicious Art as support that night. Personal friends and label mates and really great bands, so it was all good!
How was it to meet the fans in a live situation? Have you done any live shows recently besides the one at the party?
It was cool, but as I said before, this was more like playing live at a private party, though it was open for the public masses as well… We’ve done some shows recently, but not as much as we’d like. We are a very social band and we love playing live, to party and to meet people and to hand out. With the new line-up it’s really fun cause we are all old friends, we have all played together before and know each other well so it’s definitely something we’ll be doing much more in the future.
Do you feel that Thorium has developed musically through the years, if so in what way?
No, not really. we are not the same band as on the first two albums, so of course we have a different sound. but we are still two original members and we know what we want to do with this band and the other guys share that with us. Nowadays we are more focused and better at what we are doing, which is of course more satisfying and in somewhat connection to getting older. It’s still fun to drink and party, but we don’t care to black out and fuck up at concerts, so in that way we did mature a bit, ha ha!
What do you think of the statement “Thorium are ready to conquer the death metal masses” that can be find in the bio, is it true?
Ha ha, it says that? Well, we are more than ready to take ON the masses and spread the music and good satanic vibes, no doubt about that! We want to tour and make more albums on a more frequent basis, but we’ll never be in the same league as Morbid Angel, Dismember, Napalm Death, and Entombed and so on…
How has the media responded on the new album? Have you read any reviews?
Oh, yeah! The response has been incredible. we knew that we had outdone ourselves with Feral Creation, but we didn’t exactly expect the kind of reception it have gotten so far. It seems like everybody likes it and the scores have an average on around 8 out of 10, it’s really cool. One of the most important things is that Rock Hard gave it a 9/10, which is amazing! S.O.D. Magazine gave it 666 fucking skulls which is extremely cool. Not so much because it’s the top score, but because it’s 666 fucking skulls; hahaha…
And most importantly, what does the fans think of FERAL CREATION?
No clue. Well, I talked to a few who think its killer, but they hardly account for a representative segment of the metal society.
Give the readers three ass-kicking reasons why they should run out and buy the album right away?
It blows your face off, it is catchy as hell and when you can’t take it off your player for two weeks, and you know you’ve got value for money.
My bio refers to Thorium as a cult band, what do you think of the label cult band?
I think it fits Thorium pretty well – so far. In music cult refers to something that has been around for a long time but haven’t had commercial success, something underground. It also pretty hard to find your first two albums in record stores and the fans that we have like us in such a way and for a reason, that makes it special. The cool thing about a cult band is that it’s only cult until people start digging it because it is cult, so if people read our bio and get the interest, we’re done being cult, ha-ha.
Why did you name the band Thorium, what’s the story behind that name?
It’s a really strong name and it kind a fit the atmosphere around your music. It’s a metal in the periodic table, its number 90 and we love death metal from around 90, its heavy just like us, so it all fits perfectly.
You started out back in 1997, how was it to play old school death metal back then? Has the scene for your music gone through any changes and how is the old school death metal scene doing today?
It was exactly the same as today. As I said earlier, we play what we play because it’s fucking cool and because we love it, nothing has changed. We still love the same bands and the same albums.
I don’t know about an OSDM scene, I wouldn’t call it a scene as in grind, black, death metal and so on, but the best bands are still the ones doing it best back when it wasn’t old school. I really think it is cool to see that bands like Unleashed, Dismember and Entombed are in their best years these days and that more and more fans of metal seem to embrace it
What do you think of your debut OCEANS OF BLASPHEMY from 2000 and the follow up UNLEASHING THE DEMONS from 2002 today? Do you think they have stood the test of time?
I think Oceans of Blasphemy is still a great album, Unleashing the Demons sucks.
Who owns the legal rights to those albums today and are there any plans on re-release the albums now?
I guess Die Hard owns the rights, but they’ll never re-release them. I think the label is still around, but only because of some legal shit makes it cheaper to keep the company going than closing it down. But maybe Mighty Music will do it in the future. They have a thing with re-releases and had a co-operation with Die Hard once…
Why did you put the band to rest and what have you done during this long break?
I believe the answer to Q1 sums it up.
Have the members stayed in touched through the years?
Yeah, we never broke up or anything. we talked pretty often in town, at concerts and on tours where our bands were sometimes on the same bill.
During 2007 you released the EP/7 CAST FROM HELL, what can you tell us about that disc?
It’s a three track 7" EP (yeah, we dig vinyl, and it’s not out on CD and never will be) with the line-up from the first two albums. We did it to find out how we sounded when we got back together. It was also meant as a statement that we were back to do another album and that we were looking for a new label. The track Cast from Hell is actually on Feral Creation to tie the knot between the old and the new line-up.
Do you think the break had a positive effect on the members?
Yes and no. No because it made us grow apart and yes because growing apart resulted in the new album and the new line-up…
Have you always been the same line-up or have you gone through any member changes?
We have been the same four people from first album. MHA started the band with the intention to gather people from 5 different bands from Denmark and Sweden but the initial line-up never happened. On OOB we had also Jonas Lindblood from Taetre in the line-up, but he contributed just three songs on that album. He did a couple on UTD as well.
Where in the world has Thorium its biggest fanbase do you think?
I think it must be in Germany for sure.
Do the members have any common idols or role models that’s inspired you to play old school Death metal?
I wouldn’t describe it as idols or role models, but we all love and respect the bands I’ve mentioned earlier in this interview. We are all fans of the scene in general, the sound and the style; it’s hard to pick one or two from others.
You have currently two gigs booked but are you gonna do more touring now that the album is out?
We are going to do some summer festivals; they are always a lot of fun doing! After that we are going to tour Europe somehow. I can’t say anything more specific, but it does gonna happen, that’s for sure.
Are you gonna do any festival appearances during the summer?
We are planning it as we speak, hopefully we’ll be able to do four or five of them during the summer.
Are you happy with being back in the game again?
Yes. It feels very good, it feels right and it feels like we have a whole lot more to work with than on the earlier albums. We can’t wait to tour and to do the next album, which should say it all.
Do you have any final words of wisdom for the fans and readers?
Thanks a lot for this……..
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